The Global Energy Prize laureate 2006
TOKAMAK IN JAPAN
Masaji Yoshikawa discovered the scientific and technical basis for the development of an international thermonuclear reactor
An author of numerous studies in plasma physics, a researcher of high temperature plasma retention in tokamaks, and a discoverer of the scientific and technical basis for the development of an international thermonuclear reactor, Masaji Yoshikawa was born in Tokyo on October 15, 1933. Masaji Yoshikawa played a leading part in Japan’s plasma research program. It was he who managed both the construction and commissioning of JT-60 — one of the world’s largest and most successful experiments in plasma obtainment. Construction of this tokamak in Naka, which is 100 kilometers to the north-east of Tokyo, was finished in April 1985. It became a flagship of the Japanese research in magnetic fusion and one of the most ambitious projects for obtaining plasma, along with the tokamak of Princeton university (TFTR) in New Jersey (USA), and the Joint European Torus in Culham (Great Britain). At present there is ongoing development into a top-notch tokamak with a JT-60SA semi-conducting magnet. The scientists expect that the results of the research will help to answer key questions of plasma physics and help the development of the ITER project. The scientists hope to obtain their first plasma in 2019. JT-60SA is constructed under a partnership between the Japanese Agency for Nuclear Power and ITER, which is an international research and development project with the goal of researching plasma physics and applying fusion energy to peaceful purposes. Currently, Japan is a member of ITER, along with the European Union, India, China, Korea, Russia and the United States.